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“The Weight of the Uniform” as a Black Police Officer and Why Representation is Key | UK News

Demetrious wanted to be a police officer from the age of eight – but as a black man he says he understands that is not the norm.

“When you’re eight, you don’t quite have a feel for the bigger and broader social image,” he says.

But as he grew older and understood the challenges that awaited him as a black man, he became “extremely aware of the responsibility that this brings.”

Demetrious wanted to be an officer from the age of eight
Demetrious wanted to be an officer from the age of eight
Demetrious is "fully aware of the responsibility he bears" be a black policeman
Demetrious is “keenly aware of his responsibility” as a black police officer

This realization has been impossible to ignore over the past 12 months.

In May 2020, cities around the world protested in response to the shocking murder of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man who was killed by police.

His death forced the world to recognize institutional racism in all aspects of society – starting with the police.

Learn more about Black Lives Matter

For Demetrious, who was a police officer in the West Midlands for four years it made him more “aware of both the weight of the uniform and where you come from.”

He described Mr. Floyd’s murder as “heartbreaking”, but he says to himself, and to other black officers, that it was more than that.

“It’s like the candle is burning on both sides,” he says. “You feel the pain of the black community, seeing someone you recognize as a friend, cousin, brother – or even yourself.

“But you also have the professional disappointment of ‘I know how it’s supposed to be done’.”

That’s why he says representation is the key.

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Blacks in the UK are eight times more likely to be arrested and searched, four times more likely to use force against them, and even during a pandemic …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-02 14:01:00

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